Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Lead me not into Penn Station

Holidays. Crazy. Last time we had some serious content to pump, we were primed for a brief two-day stay in NYC. Much fun--we had some good meetings on Day one, retired to Chris Hanson's wonderful new digs in Bayridge, where we enjoyed some good Indian food as Chris showed off his urban composting prowess and his lovely rooftop view of lower Manhattan. The Information Leafblower hooked us up with music store goodness for day two, and I spent the morning tromping around the East Village and the afternoon sightseeing in Midtown. My trip included a stop, naturally, at the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, so now I can cross that off my list.

And no, I did not roll down to Orchard with glass bottles on my fingers clanking together as I chanted "Jugz...come out and playyyyyhhayyy" because I do not need to be that douchebag's latest stalkee.

My working theorem on New York City is that in order to fully enjoy it, there's only one thing you need to do: NOT LIVE THERE. Once again, I was proven correct. When you're not payin' that rent, your dollars stretch for days. And so, everything put the dory in the hunky until it came time to leave. I stepped out for some cool air to keep myself awake waiting in Penn Station, and when I walked in, I noticed on the concourse board that my train had been cancelled. The trains were giving off bad mojo the entire day, as the tone was set by a derailment in Delaware. I didn't hear any announcements, so, I figured I better queue up and get instructions on getting my ticket changed to the 8:35. I waited in the line for 20 minutes, and when I finally got to the Amtrak agent window, this is the conversation I had:

"Hey. I noticed that my train is cancelled, and I wanted to know what I should do."

"Your train is cancelled?"

"Yeah. I want to change tickets, maybe get on the 8:35 regional to Washington."

"What train are you on now?"

"The one that's cancelled."

"Which train is cancelled?"

"The 7:35. The 187."

"That train's cancelled?"

"Uh...yeah. On the board in the other concourse, it says it's cancelled."

"Well we haven't posted that arrival yet."

"Yes you have. It's cancelled."

"It's not on the board in here. It's not showing up in my computer."

"Well, it's showing up on the board in the concourse. So what do I do?"

"The train is not cancelled."

"Yes it is."

"No it isn't."

"Yes. The train is cancelled."

"It won't be cancelled."

"Look. Someone else in this very station thinks otherwise. Could you just check--"

"It won't be cancelled. We had a derailment today. They gotta make their money. They're not just going to cancel a train that's well booked."

"Look. Just tell me this. What do I do if the train is cancelled?"

"It won't be cancelled."

"Okay. But if it is. What do I do?"

"You should think positively."


"Just think positively. It's not cancelled."

"Okay. Okay. Let me just ask you...hypothetically speaking. If my train is cancelled, what should I do."

"Don't worry about it."

"Look. What's the protocol, okay? If. My train is--look, if a train, if ANY train were to be cancelled, what would one do in that situation?"

"The train is not going to be cancelled."

"Okay. Seriously. Would you please just fucking kill me?"

Finally, I just gave up talking to the most retarded man in the five boroughs and left the window, and sure enough, five minutes later, every board in Penn Station agreed on one thing: my fucking train was mad cancelled.

I didn't end up flat murdering that horrible ticket agent. I put my faith in New York City that his ass will get straightened out at some point in the future. Maybe by Jugzie. Still, my train struggle continued. I pounced like a cat as soon as the gate for the 8:35 was announced and got a seat without delay, because, sure enough, they packed that train full of everyone left on the platform. We then sat underneath Penn Station for anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes because some drawbridge in Jersey was stuck in the up position. Things felt pretty starcrossed, but thankfully, that was the last of the waylayings--the snow down south posed no threat and Delaware was clear of the vestiges of derailment. I got back to Union Station just as a gorgeous snow began to fall and took a cab home along Constitution Avenue, drinking in the sights.

Best of all, Wife of DCeiver didn't have to work the next day.

I did, though, at Wonkette. And once again, that's where I'll be Tuesday, December 20 (later today). So, keep your tips coming.


whiskypants said...

You're an excellent substitute wonkette! I especially loved the Stickmas and Fitzmas postings (the Say Anything reference was oustanding) today... Keep up the great work!

naechstehaltestelle said...

I'm sorry, but can you just guest for Wonkette permanently? I heart the frequency and genius of the posting.

A. L. Deviant said...

Your readership (at least me) will follow you anywhere you post. Keep rocking the content. It was a good hang and you can compost with me anytime.

DCSOBloop said...

DCeiver? Ragging on NYC? Say it ain't so!

The Deceiver said...

I heart New York, 'Bloop.

I hope A.L. Deviant is, though. How are you getting to Lower Manhattan from Bayridge while MTA is out?

A. L. Deviant said...

The Man, i.e. my employer, is footing the bill for busses that run from my 'hood to lower Manhattan. I blogged on it:


No need to rag. I am all about the love.

Jenn said...

Yo. That's Bay Ridge. Two words.

Butterstick said...

You're better than Wonkette. Much.

Nick D. said...

Was your headline an intentional Fountains of Wayne shout-out?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you just don't know how to get your way around NYC... your first mistake was talking to a rail employee in the first place... everyone knows they're useless.

Train cancelled = ticket from cancelled train will be honored on next available train = get on the next available train

The Deceiver said...

Ordinarily, I would have figured as much. But I got in the queue for three reasons.

--From the point at which I first saw the cancellation go up on the big board, there were no loudspeaker announcements. Usually they come in immediately and say "Tickets for the X will be honored on the Y."

--There was a derailment that day in Delaware, and I was worried it was one of the reasons there was no 7:35.

--I wanted to see what it would cost me to get on the Acela.

One Amtrak figured it out, they started announcing how and when our tix would be honored. It just took them an hour to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

u never should have coined that porte manteau Abramoffukkah. A terrible misuse of language. SMILE

altho i know u ment well.

jon stewart did too.

did you hear his 24/6 joke about Abramoff on Daily Show? Terrible. Funny.